SANTA FE (KRQE) - Santa Fe is joining the growing list of New Mexico communities running out of water.
With their main water source going dry, next week the city will start tapping into its stored water supply which is expected to dry up soon, too.
"We're going to have to plan for this challenge, that's for sure," Rick Carpenter, Santa Fe's water resource and conservation manager, said. "Local reservoirs may start to run out of water around the end of August or first part of September."
Like the rest of the state, the city of Santa Fe is entering year three of extreme drought. Now, city water officials are running out of options for drinking water and gearing up to tap into the stored water this summer.
Carpenter says it's due to nearly no carryover from last year.
"We're at about 33 percent of total capacity right now in the local reservoirs," he said.
As early as Sunday water officials will start tapping into the McClure and Nichols reservoirs to help maintain water pressure during peak hours.
That water will go quick considering the city may use 16 million gallons of water on a typical summer day.
"We're going to pump the local reservoirs pretty dry," Carpenter said.
Once those dry up, the city will have no choice but to turn to underground aquifers. Carpenter says that will supply several years worth of water to Santa Fe water users.
The city usually tries to save about 30 percent of the reservoirs' capacity going into the following year. Unless there's some serious rain or snow, Santa Fe could have no water reserves in the canyon heading into next year.
Santa Fe water users are already seeing stepped up conservation measures. City officials say if the trend keeps up, they may have tighten water restrictions even more.
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